Soul Embraced

Immune

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Soul Embraced has frequently been described as a death metal band, and lead vocalist Chad Moore often favors the sort of demonic-sounding, larynx-ripping vocal style that death metal, black metal, and grindcore are known for. But Immune, the band's third album, underscores the fact that Soul Embraced aren't your average death metal/black metal combo -- and that it would be a mistake to lump them in with bands like In Aeternum, Dark Angel, Impaled, and Triumphator. Immune has as much to do with alternative metal as it does with death metal -- not that the two are mutually exclusive by any means -- and in terms of influences, Rocky Gray's guitar playing is all over the metal map. Gray gets a lot of inspiration from death metal/black metal, but he also plays a lot of chug-chug riffs that would not be out of place on a Korn, Mushroomhead, Sevendust, or Nothingface album. That isn't to say that all of those alterna-metal bands have influenced Soul Embraced -- some probably have, some probably haven't -- but the parallels are certainly there in terms of guitar playing. For all its heaviness and forcefulness, Immune is fairly musical. Yes, this CD offers a lot of extremist vocals, but the songs also have a sense of melody. Immune is intricate as well as brutal, and while that might sound like a contradiction, it really isn't. Historically, a variety of headbangers -- everyone from Judas Priest to Ministry to Nothingface -- have demonstrated that being blistering doesn't rule out being musical, and Soul Embraced brings that type of mentality to Immune. Whether you categorize Immune as death metal or alternative metal -- arguably, it's both of those things -- this CD is an exciting demonstration of the fact that Soul Embraced does not govern by brute force alone.

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